INDIANAPOLIS, May 28 (UPI) -- Cialis maker Eli Lilly and French drug maker Sanofi agreed to a licensing deal allowing Sanofi to sell an over-the-counter version of the prescription erectile dysfunction drug if regulars approve.
Eli Lilly and Sanofi officials said an over-the-counter Cialis could provide easier treatment for men with erectile dysfunction and help reduce the illicit Internet sale of bogus or stolen Cialis. The prescription erectile dysfunction drug Cialis made about $2.2 billion in global sales last year, which surpassed Viagra's sales of $1.9 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
However, it's uncertain if U.S. regulators would approve the sale of an erectile dysfunction drug without a doctor's guidance because the drug can have several side effects including a sudden drop in blood pressure if taken with some heart and blood-pressure medications, and causing fainting or even death, among other adverse outcomes.
In addition, the need for erectile dysfunction drugs provide a red flag that patients could have other medical conditions such as diabetes and coronary artery disease. If men were able to buy impotence drugs without visiting a doctor, these conditions might be missed, he said.